Retail Counting Systems: Understanding Technology Options before You Purchase

Retail counting systems collect invaluable information for your establishment. If you are a business owner looking to install a retail counting system within your store, you have several options to choose from. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option against your business’s needs.

Keep your facility in mind as you scroll down through the various options. Do you have wide entrances? Do you have high-density traffic flowing through your store? What types of doors do you have at your entrances? Swinging? Spinning? All of this is going to make a difference when you decide which retail counting system is optimal for you.

1. Horizontal Wired/Wireless Retail Counting Systems

There are a variety of horizontal wired and wireless retail counting systems available. A horizontal retail counting system is installed in your store’s entrances and casts a horizontal infrared beam across the doorway.

Pros for these Horizontal Retail Counting Systems:

  • They are quick and easy to install
  • They are less pricey than their overhead retail counting system counterparts
  • Wireless options have a lithium battery that can last up to two years

Cons for the Horizontal Retail Counting Systems:

  • Limited directional counts
  • If you have wide entrances and a high density of people moving through them, these horizontal beams lose a great deal of accuracy
  • May potentially become blocked by people standing in entrances or entrance displays
  • Cannot distinguish between customers who are entering and customers who are leaving

Horizontal retail counting systems are ideal for small businesses with narrow doorways and low traffic density. They are an affordable option that will allow business owners to make better informed business decisions.

2. Overhead Retail Counting Systems

If you are looking for a little more functionality in your retail counting system, consider overhead sensors. Overhead retail counting systems are mounted on the ceiling of your facility anywhere you please. You can use them to determine how many people are coming through your entrances and when.

Pros for the Overhead Retail Counting Systems:

Thermal Overhead Sensors:

  • These sensors gather multi-directional information
  • They are not affected by ambient lighting
  • They can count in complete darkness
  • Over 98% accuracy rate
  • Able to cover wide entrances
  • Wireless ranges can be extended with repeaters

Video-Based Overhead Sensors:

  • Able to handle wide areas with multiple units
  • Upgradeable software
  • Supports remote video capture for accuracy
  • Data is safely stored in the event of a power outage
  • Adjusts to changes in lighting, and temperature
  • Filters carts, children, and strollers
  • Flash memory stores up to 10 days of data

Cons for Overhead Retail Counting Systems

Thermal Overhead Sensors:

  • Costlier than other systems
  • Lower field of vision than video systems
  • Affected by external weather conditions
  • Takes a good amount of training to use properly

Video-Based Overhead Sensors:

  • Costlier than infrared bream systems
  • Lower lifetime and higher power use than thermal systems
  • May require PCs that are not fully embedded
  • Complex installation
  • Counting accuracy can be affected by shadows, background, and varying levels of light

Overhead sensors are ideal for business owners who are looking to invest in a retail counting solution that will bring them a bountiful ROI. These systems will ensure that you have the counting accuracy that you need to make the best possible business decisions regarding your store layout and labor scheduling.

Whatever your business needs are, knowing your facility, your budget, and the options available to you will allow you to choose the correct retail counting system solution.

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